the prepaid credit card market


1.1 Definition and presentation

The credit card market is divided into four categories: credit cards, debit cards, commercial cards and prepaid cards. The category name on the credit card is mandatory since the entry into force on 9 June 2016 of the European Regulation 2015/751.

In Italy, the rapid spread of prepaid cards is undoubtedly related to the specific characteristics of this form of payment. Prepaid cards "allow you to have a limited amount of money", are therefore rechargeable and do not require a connection to a current (bank) account. The increased security and functionality of the prepaid card are variables that have played a decisive role in its popularity.

The current Italian overview on alternative forms of payment to cash shows a slight contraction of active credit cards but underlines again the growth of prepaid cards both in volume (number of cards in circulation) and in value (value of transactions). The rapid expansion of prepaid cards is the source of a greater revolution that affects all forms of payment, directed towards greater security, especially for online payments, and control by the consumer. Demand increases and consequently supply becomes more varied and regulation more circumscribed, variables that will influence the future image of the prepaid card market.

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